virgin islands scene

If you had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.
-- Henry Ford


Friday, November 8, 1996

It pays to listen

I just saw an interesting statistic in Fortune Magazine. A study of top salespeople at large corporations found that the highest performers allowed their customers to do 70% of the talking in a typical sales call.

It pays to listen. Listening is one of the best ways to learn. When you’re doing all the talking, you are learning nothing. Just pretending to listen, when you’re actually trying to think of what you can say next, is not enough. You must really listen, with the goal of understanding the speaker.

And there is another powerful benefit to listening. It builds tremendous rapport. People love to talk about themselves, their work, their ideas, their opinions. When you listen, and are genuinely interested in what someone else is saying, they will come away from the encounter with a very good impression of you. Listening carefully, and asking questions that convey your sincere interest, will leave a better impression than anything you could possibly say.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.